The Bill Chuck Files of November 3, 2019

Each Sunday, in remembrance of my friend Nick Cafardo, I post “the Bill Chuck Files” (named by Nick in his Sunday Baseball Notes column)

This regular season, 6776 homers were hit, an average of 1.39 per game. This postseason, 95 homers were hit, an average of 1.28 homers per game, yet homers seemed less intrusive in the postseason.

Of teams that have won the World Series, the Nationals rank fourth having hit 231 regular-season home runs. The 2009 Yankees hit 244 homers, the 1961 Yankees hit 240 homers, and the 2017 Astros hit 238 dingers.

The 2019 Astros homered in more postseason games than any team in history, they went 10-6 in the 16 games in which they homered. They broke the record of the 2017 Astros who went 10-4 in the 14 games in which they homered. The Nats homered in 11 games, going 9-2.

The Nationals and Cardinals led all postseason teams not homering in six games. In those games, Washington went 3-3 and St. Louis went 1-5.

Joe Castiglione, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, Pat Hughes, Ned Martin, Mike Shannon, and Dewayne Staats were all named finalists for the (misnamed) Ford C. Frick Award. All are deserving of recognition, but so is Jerry Howarth, the long-time Blue Jays announcer, not on this list.

The Ford C. Frick Award should be renamed the Vin Scully Award and do it while he is alive, dammit. Besides being commissioner, Frick was a PR flack who should not be on an award for great broadcasters.

The teams in this postseason hit a cumulative .208 with runners in scoring position. Not surprisingly, the Nationals led all teams with a .262 average. The Astros hit .212.

This postseason, the Nationals were most productive scoring 14 runs in the 7th inning, 13 runs in the 1st inning, and 12 runs in 8th. The Astros scored 18 1st inning runs, but had a combined 17 runs in the 7th and 8th innings.

Amongst batters with 20+ postseason at bats, Gleyber Torres led all batters with a 1.078 OPS, followed DJ LeMahieu (1.011), Michael Taylor (1.010), Anthony Rendon (1.003), and Justin Turner (1.000).

This postseason, Justin Verlander threw 598 pitches, Stephen Strasburg threw 559, Gerrit Cole threw 551, and Max Scherzer threw 516 pitches. Pretty safe to say that most were high-stress pitches.

Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole led all pitchers with 47 strikeouts this postseason. They are tied for second for the most whiffs in a postseason behind Curt Schilling who had 56 in 2001. They are also tied with Randy Johnson (2001), Josh Beckett (2003), and Cliff Lee (2010) all with 47 Ks.

Who’s going get Yasmani Grandal this offseason? From 2017-19, Grandal led all catchers with 74 homers.

Seven rookies hit 20+ homers in 2019. If MLB normalizes the ball in the future, who will repeat these numbers in the future?

Player HR Tm
Pete Alonso 53 NYM
Eloy Jimenez 31 CHW
Christian Walker 29 ARI
Yordan Alvarez 27 HOU
Fernando Tatis Jr. 22 SDP
Rowdy Tellez 21 TOR
Mike Yastrzemski 21 SFG

The Astros had no lefties in the bullpen this postseason but their right-handed pitchers held the opposition to a .237 BAA and a .645 OPSA, and just one homer in 91 PA.

Gerrit Cole’s wife Amy’s older brother is Brandon Crawford, the Giants’ shortstop. I bet she hopes that the Giants offer their family tons of money. Gerrit and Brandon were UCLA teammates and Amy played softball for UCLA. Both Amy and Gerrit will be playing hardball this offseason.

The Dodgers declined a $13 million option on 31-year-old infielder Jedd Gyorko, who gets a $1 million buyout. Is there anyone who would pay me $1 million to not work for them? I promise if you do, I will never work for you again.

In 2016, I briefly worked for the MLB Network (I don’t want to discuss it) but while there I mentioned to the brilliant Brian Kenny that I thought David Ross should make the All-Star team. He was aghast wondering why I thought a .234 batter was deserving of such a position. My argument that it was his last season and he is a terrific guy and any event with David Ross is better than any event without David Ross just didn’t fly. I’m really happy for him and the Cubs.

Speaking about new managers, congrats to Carlos Beltran and the Mets. I think that John Farrell might be an interesting choice as a pitching coach for Carlos. Farrell, who I don’t believe has the communications skills to manage, could serve Beltran well with the pitching staff and bench associate.

Your Jeopardy answer: This season, Tim Anderson led with six followed by Charlie Blackmon and Hanser Alberto with five each. The correct question, “Who led the majors with most games with four or more hits?”

Hey, I just found the football season has begun.

I’m around and very underemployed if you need me.